Judge testifies on colleague's death
Cape Town - Acting Judge Khalapi (Jakes) Moloi was on Monday the first of four judges of the Western Cape High Court to testify at a trial after the death of colleague Patrick Maqubela.
Moloi told the court he had known the deceased judge for more than 20 years. They met while both were legal practitioners.
He said he had nothing against the judge's widow Thandi, who is charged with her husband's murder along with businessman Vela Mabena.
"Yes, I know her we have nothing against each other," Moloi said.
The other three judges who are to testify are James Yekiso, Denis van Reenen, and Western Cape deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso.
Moloi entered the deceased judge's luxury apartment at The President Suites in Bantry Bay with others, including the police, to find the deceased's body covered with a sheet on a bed in the main bedroom.
Moloi told the court he had known the deceased even before Maqubela had been legal adviser to former justice minister Penuel Maduna.
He said he met the widow only once, in 2005 when he had taken his family to a restaurant for dinner and found the deceased and his wife in the same restaurant.
"The deceased came to my table and introduced me to his wife and family."
It is alleged that the widow and Mabena murdered the judge on Friday, June 5 2009.
Moloi said the last time that he spoke to Maqubela was on the Wednesday before his death.
"We had an arrangement to have dinner together that Wednesday evening as we often did but late that afternoon the deceased phoned to say we can't have dinner anymore because his wife had arrived in Cape Town.
"Because of her arrival we could no longer have dinner together."
Moloi said the deceased was "somewhat surprised and irritated by his wife's sudden and unannounced visit" and the visit was strange to him as well.
"I can only say that on a number of occasions before then, in June 2009, the deceased had expressed to me his desire to divorce his wife.
"I am also divorced and he often referred to my situation as being ideal and that he would like to join me."
The trial continues.